Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Ficker blasts County Executive debate hosts for inviting only Democrats, charging $70 for tickets

Montgomery County Executive candidate
Robin Ficker is mobbed by supporters
after speaking at County Council building
earlier this year
Update - 10:50 AM: The debate is now open to the public with no charge. However, Republican Robin Ficker remains excluded from the debate as of this hour.

Republican Montgomery County Executive candidate Robin Ficker strongly criticized news that he has been excluded from a November 15 debate hosted by the Greater Bethesda Chamber of Commerce and Bethesda Magazine. Only the three Democrats who have filed for the office so far - Roger Berliner, Marc Elrich and George Leventhal - are invited to participate. Ficker said that, in contrast, the Montgomery County Muslim Council has asked him to be part of their September 23 County Executive candidate forum at the Potomac Community Center on Falls Road at 10:30 AM.

Ficker and County Republican Party Chairman Dick Jurgena questioned the non-partisan status of the hosts in a statement released this morning by the Ficker campaign. "Is this just a dog and pony (or should I say circus animals) show to help the Democrat particpants to energize their base?" Jurgena asked. Ficker charged that the Chamber enjoys non-profit tax status, but is displaying favor toward one political party.

"Obviously there is a quid pro quo between the council member-county executive candidates and the Chamber," Ficker alleged.  "By promoting their candidacies, the Chamber is not only taking advantage of these public office positions to collect $70 a head, but the council members must have promised the Chamber something in return for holding this campaign forum. What is the quid pro quo?"

Both men also questioned the admission price of $70 for non-Chamber members. "If [County] residents want to hear only one side of the issues, they can go to the Montgomery County Council meetings and listen to the term-limited Democrats, and they can save the cost of the $70.00 ticket fee for admission," Jurgena said. Chamber President and CEO Ginanne Italiano said the high price is due to the debate's inclusion in the Chamber's annual legislative event, and that ticketholders would have access to an open bar cocktail reception afterward.

Ficker took a shot at the three Democrats invited, noting that all are barred from running for their current Council seats, due to voters overwhelmingly approving Ficker's term limits ballot question last November. "If these Term Limited County Executive candidates want to hold a forum hosted by a political party club, exclude me and charge party members $1,000 to attend, that is fine with me," he said. "But when a nonprofit Chamber of Commerce holds a County Executive forum, they should invite candidates of both parties and should accommodate Montgomery Countians to listen for free."

81 comments:

Anonymous said...

A Democratic primary debate inviting only Democratic candidates? Shocking...

Robert Dyer said...

6:03: The Muslim Council debate is during the primary season as well, but is including all parties, not just one.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Dyer, is autocorrect playing games with you again?

Tim said...

I promise you, there will be no debate like this in the general election. Debates that are held will have little coverage.

The Chamber needs to at least appear to be non partisan.

Anonymous said...

Embarrassing that someone running for office can't understand the difference.

Anonymous said...

Who is this "Tim" who wants to promise total strangers things he has no control over?

Anonymous said...

We're giving the Democrat candidates a safe space and I'm making a few bucks. Win-win, right?

Anonymous said...

6:47AM Are you trying to impersonate someone and forgot to use their name this time?

Elm said...

Can we agree that $70 is a bit much to watch these three panty waisted men go at it?

Not exactly Mayweather-MacGregor.

This costs more than seeing a quality theater performance, Nationals tickets or over priced concert ticket.

Anonymous said...

I don't mind the ticket price since it's consistent with their other events, but I agree the event should be open to all candidates. If it's open to only Democrats, their non-profit status should be revoked as they're now a political organization.

I remember Giffords said...

$70 is a lot. Not like they have to pay for the talent. That's a nice profit margin.

I'd be more comfortable if the proceeds were being donated to a local charity.

Anonymous said...

Why not just invite Robin and make it free. If folks want to buy a drink, charge them.

Anonymous said...

THE MOCO CARTEL HATES US BECAUSE OF OUR FREEDUMBS

Anonymous said...

This is Montgomery frickin County. $70 isn't too high. You only pay it if you go, so no big deal. Sheesh.

Why don't you show us all the numbers for how this will have a nice profit margin. You seem to know enough to make these claims. Can you back them up? Or is it just more useless kvetching? I'm thinking the latter.

6:49 call out the shills and they appear. That's some powerful trait, grasshopper, use it well.

Skippy said...

Robin has had a huge impact on MoCo with the term limits package being voted for.

Sour grapes not inviting him?

Anonymous said...

Remember when Ken Beatrice wouldn't take Ficker's calls for being such a blowhard? Good times.

Anonymous said...

$70 is a lot for hors d'oeuvres.
Nice profit margin. Where will the proceeds go to?

Anonymous said...

Imagine if presidential debates were pay per view TV only and a businessman aligned with one of candidates would rake in all the profits? That's literally what this is.

Anonymous said...

A great piece from the WaPo, circa 1982

https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/local/1982/03/07/robin-ficker-attention-getter/d73bf988-df45-42d3-9d60-4bf4848c64d2/?utm_term=.4268e51631e2

Anonymous said...

No, this isn't at all like a presidential debate on PPV.

Anonymous said...

The event is now free of charge.

Anonymous said...

Is Robin invited? Strange that a self proclaimed news organization would want less voices, not more. News entities usually cherish freedom of speech, not barring those you don't agree with.

Anonymous said...

Great. You sheepshills can quit your bitching.

Anonymous said...

This is a Democrat primarydebate. If Ficker wants to be a Democrat again, I'm sure he'd be included.

Anonymous said...

Again, we're giving the Democrats a safe space.

Anonymous said...

I see Dyer is already canvasing for bff and fellow Trump-lover Ficker.

I wonder why the Republicans didn't invite Hillary and Sanders to the Repub debates, or the Dems didn't invite Trump and Cruz to the Dem debates. Oh yeah, because that would have been asinine.

Robert Dyer said...

8:00: Reporting the news isn't "canvassing." But it's a known fact that very few organizations hold general election debates in Montgomery County. To be heard, Republican, Independent, Green, Libertarian, etc. candidates have to be included - especially if an organization is not willing to commit to a later general election debate.

Robin Ficker said...

There will be no debate by the Bethesda Chamber after the primary. This $70 debate is not related to the primary which is 7 months later. It is just an attempt by the Chamber to get some TV time for the Term Limited 3 who have obviously promised them something from the council in return. Paul Bessel, Democratic Chairman of the Charter Review Commission has said he would not list this event in his widely read list of events and urged voters NOT to attend

Anonymous said...

Robin Fucker is Putin to Robert Dyer's Trump

Anonymous said...

That's it...there won't be debate like this in the general because the favorite line by everyone covering the election is that the Democratic primary is the general.

Don't be fooled by folks saying they'll cover Robin in the general because they won't.

Include Robin in this debate. Another podium won't cost a thing.

Roald said...

Christ, just include Robin.
Why invite all this controversy by excluding him.

Anonymous said...

What's "controversial" about excluding Robin Fucker?

Anonymous said...

Will the Chamber and Bethesda Magazine endorse a poll tax next?

Anonymous said...

"The Term Limited 3"

As opposed to the Perpetually Rejected 2.

Anonymous said...

Ficker should advocate for a limit on running. He's not very smart. Remember when he said that bs about pizza and DNA to defend the guy who killed the family in Woodley Park? He killer wasn't even asking him to defend him. Buzz off Robin.

Anonymous said...

What whiny little victims you republicans are.

Anonymous said...

If there were 3 Republicans running and only 1 Democrat, would you invite the Dem in to your Republican debate? We know you wouldn't, you know it too.

Anonymous said...

"This $70 debate"

#FakeNews

There is no $70 debate, Mr. Ficker.

Anonymous said...

Why pander to people who have no understanding of how primaries work?

Robin Ficker said...

Hope you liked the TRIPLING of parking rates since 2009 in Bethesda? The 9% property tax increase in 2016? The 30% increase in the real estate transfer tax in 2016? The 156% "temporary" increase in the residential energy tax whic and as not "temporary" and is now 10% of your Pepco bill? The 2,000,000 ft2 Westbard plan on top of already overcrowded schools and roads? The self-served 30% pay increase the council gave itself?
The Bethesda Beat has not said the Chamber has lowered its admissions price by $70.

Anonymous said...

That's a really good point

Skippy said...

Republican & Green candidates: don't be fooled by promises by local media that you'll have coverage in the general because you won't.

Definitely fight to get into every debate now.

Anonymous said...

9:43AM (12:43PM Eastern): Mr Ficker, yes they did at 11:45AM. almost one full hour before you posted they hadn't. please check before posting more #fakenews.


http://www.bethesdamagazine.com/Bethesda-Beat/2017/Debate-Set-for-Democratic-Candidates-for-County-Executive/

Anonymous said...

Mr. Dyer, do you endorse Mr. Ficker? Or will he be your competition next fall?

Anonymous said...

Maybe they should put Republicans on the Democratic primary ballot as well. That would make just about as much sense.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Fucker, if you are elected, will you push to reverse the Councilmembers' raise?

Anonymous said...

Mr Ficker, yes they did at 11:45AM. almost one full hour before you posted they hadn't.

And actually, that was 11:45 yesterday. Do we want a County Executive who can't even be bothered to read the news?

Anonymous said...

"mobbed by supporters"

Anonymous said...

This debate is and was so indensible, greedy and mean spirited that we aren't even seeing the usual sock puppets defend it.

Anonymous said...

I think just no one cares about what republicans thinks about it.

Anonymous said...

I count ten people in the picture surrounding Ficker. Only three are "supporters" beyond a reasonable doubt. Is that a "mob"?

Anonymous said...

When is Robin Ficker's office getting torn down to make way for Trader Joe's?

Anonymous said...

Never a good look to be putting a price on democracy.

Robert Dyer said...

7:01: There's a whole crowd there surrounding Ficker.

5:58: If you look at the record of the County Council on taxes, development, schools, transporation, protecting neighborhoods, since the last Republican was forced off the Council by gerrymandering, many people now care what Republicans think - and more importantly, what they would do if elected.

Andy Van Slyke said...

These are certainly indecent times with men like this on the Council and magazine publishers selling access while keeping hard working MoCo families literally out of sight and out of mind during debates.

How low will they go?

Robin Ficker said...

Hate speech.

Robin Ficker said...

Hate speech

Robin Ficker said...

"Killer" wasn't convicted of killing or anything for that matter.

Robin Ficker said...

They buried it. Did the Chamber meet on Labor day about eliminating $70 price? Doubt it. The $70 price is still on Chamber web site. Looks like partisan Bethesda Beat is CYA.

Robin Ficker said...

Guarantee they won't get another one. Guarantee if Term Limited 3 win there WILL be another raise.

Robin Ficker said...

Robin is the only Exec candidate who knows about Bethesda. Had law office on Wisconsin Ave from 1982-2016!

Robin Ficker said...

There are reasons Term Limits got 70% and won in 253 of 257 precincts. Bethesda Beat feels voters Term Limited these 3 guys because voters wanted to give them a promotion. Beat is wrong.

Anonymous said...

Where do you get your info? Why do you keep mentioning BB? Are you officially speaking for them? How do you figure BB thinks that? I haven't seem it from them.
It's weird when you talk about yourself in the 3rd person. (11:00PM comment)

The gerrymandering in this state increasedthe Republican outcomes.

As someone out and talking to county residents, they went for term limits because of the property tax increase combined with disappointment in the school system and over-development.

Anonymous said...

Ficker, with his actions on spamming/email addresses and the way he uses local blog comment sections to openly campaign, has shown himself to be pretty darn out of touch with the way the world works, and many people absolutely will not take him seriously as a result--very behind-the-times for someone who wants to be in charge.

That said, the co-sponsor of this debate has shown himself, by the way his outlet covers said candidates, to be interested in acting as a suppository to whomever might win this race. And the chamber clearly has an interest in cozying up. No need to act that way to Ficker--that part of this election is already long over. Sorry, man.

Anonymous said...

Did Robin just refer to himself in the third person? Hah

Anonymous said...

Indeed, look at Trump he was elected Republican and look what he's doing now that he's president!

Anonymous said...

"Mental illness - emergency petition"

I hope your Mom is able to get you the help that you need.

Anonymous said...

Can the co-sponsors be more transparent on the initial price decision process, why they then dropped it and why Robin can't be included?
Not too much to ask. Why all the secrecy? Why the need to stifle certain voices?

Anonymous said...

Not a republican, but I am very sick of the democrats in this area. I am a democrat from Philadelphia and boy you people give all of us a bad name. Everyone has to outdo everyone's disgust at everything. Heaven forbid someone becomes upset at the name Redskins...

Anonymous said...

Robin sure was busy between 1:50 AM and 2:03 AM this morning. If you are reading this in mobile version, switch to the web version (click "web version", immediately below the "home" button at the bottom of the page) - it's really funny.

Anonymous said...

What don't you understand about a Republican not being invited to a Democratic primary debate? A General debate, sure. This isn't a General debate.

Would you have a Philly Eagles player sit in on a Redskins game meeting?

Robert Dyer said...

6:09: Just one problem - there isn't going to be a General Election debate. So we have to hear from everyone during what debates will be held (and I'm not even sure why we're having a debate before the filing deadline - there could be significant additions on the Democratic side before then).

Elm said...

I wish Robert would attend. He put Reimer in his place last election season.

Anonymous said...

Riemer put Robert in his place in the actual election.

LOL

Anonymous said...

Why won't there be a General Election debate? Nobody wants to hold one? Why not the local Republican Party? Can't they find someone to hold a debate? Or the local Libertarians? Green Party?

Why don't you sponsor one?

Anonymous said...

According to the old legacy media, the Democrat primary is the election/Super Bowl. Therefore the general won't be covered. History shows this. Past is prologue.

Get Robin in the debate.

Anonymous said...

One minute it's ha-ha-ha the old legacy media is useless and passe.
The next it's the old legacy media is omnipotent and holding me back.

Pick a lane. ONE lane.

Anonymous said...

Why did so many of my honest, constructive, and non negative questions to Robin get deleted? You guys are shouting for fairness....

Anonymous said...

Many of the comments on the Bethesda Magazine article about the debate were quite critical.

Yet none were deleted.

Anonymous said...

Just one problem - there isn't going to be a General Election debate

Why doesn't the Suburban News Network sponsor one?

Anonymous said...

Robert you should and could easily host one! Aren't you the news on record or what is it you said you were again? Makes sense for you to host one of little old BM can do it you so can you as the big dog.